Losing a close family member is never an easy thing. When you have to fly half way across the country at the last second it makes it even more rough. The past week I had a pretty bad experience with Delta, and wanted to share it with the community.
When I got a call last Monday that my grandfather had been rushed to the hospital and wasn’t looking good I was faced with a tough decision. I had already purchased a round trip ticket for Easter that was coming up in a few weeks. Do I risk him passing away and wait to travel at Easter, or do I bite the bullet and get on the next flight and pay the higher cost? I choose the latter option and quickly booked a ticket on a travel site. $365 later I had a one way flight booked out the next morning, unfortunately a few hours later my grandfather passed away.
Since I still didn’t know when the funeral would be or when I would need to return back to TX I didn’t purchase my return ticket. I planned to figure out my return once the final arrangements had been made and I was back in Raleigh, NC. Since my grandfather had passed away I figured I could get a cheaper ticket for a bereavement flight.
Wednesday evening I gave Delta’s customer service center a call as you can’t book a bereavement flight on their website. I explained the situation to the representative and asked for a quote on a one way flight from Raleigh to Austin. He quoted me $990 for a flight that left Friday morning, and $760 for a flight leaving Saturday. I was assured that these were the cheapest fares I could get anywhere. Since I had paid much less than that for my first flight I was skeptical so I did a quick search on Kayak.com and quickly found I could get a flight on either Friday or Saturday for $360. When I told the representative he replied “Well you sound like a smart kid, why don’t you just book the ticket with them?” With that the call ended.
I was dumbfounded, not only was that a very disrespectful way to treat someone after I explained I was flying at the last second because of a death in the family, but I was also lied to. The represnative had assured me that the prices he had quoted me were the best possible I could get when a third party site could give me the same ticket for $630 less. Its one thing to upcharge people buying tickets at the last second, but this seems like a case of predatory pricing on special fares.
I’ll never use Delta.com or Delta’s call line to book a flight. If this taught me anything don’t trust a person on their price until you’ve shopped around.